Income Tax dept backs up PM Modi’s professional tax return claims

The PM had sparked a social media debate after he said that only a very small number Indians were paying tax.

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NEW DELHI: The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) said only 2,200 persons disclosed annual income of more than Rs 1 crore from their professional work in FY19. They include doctors, chartered accountants and lawyers and this is as per returns filed in the current financial year for income generated in the previous one, it said, backing up statements made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi that led to a debate on social media.

This income from their professions did not include that from other sources such as rent, interest and capital gains, the department said in a series of tweets.





“Certain misinformation is being circulated in Social Media pertaining to individual return filers,” CBDT said.

The statements came a day after PM Modi said that a very small number out of a total 1.3 billion Indians were paying tax.

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“In the last five years, over 1.5 crore cars were sold in India – that too expensive ones. Over three crore Indians went abroad for business or tourism. But in a country of 130 crore people, only 1.5 crore people pay income tax,” he said at a TIMES NOW event on Wednesday.

“We have so many professionals – big doctors, lawyers, chartered accountants, etc. But only 2,200 professionals declare their annual income of over Rs 1 crore. Just 2,200 professionals! There would be more like this in the Supreme Court itself,” Modi had said.

The department added that the number of individual tax payers who have disclosed income above Rs 5 crore across the country was 8,600, while 316,000 individual tax payers have disclosed income above Rs 50 lakh.

In the current fiscal, 57.8 million individuals have filed returns for their FY19 income. On the other end of the spectrum, 10.3 million individuals showed income below Rs 2.5 lakh, while 32.9 million had taxable income between Rs 2.5 lakh and Rs 5 lakh.

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A total of 43.2 million individuals have disclosed income up to ?5 lakh but are not liable to pay taxes since they are exempt under Finance Act 2019. This leaves only around 14.6 million individual tax payers liable to pay income-tax.

The department added that around 10 million individuals disclosed income between Rs 5 lakh and Rs 10 lakh, while 4.6 million declared income above Rs 10 lakh.

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